Regardless of whether you are a business owner who is struggling to make your business more profitable, an online marketer trying to make your life easier, or a consumer who is looking to acquire the latest technology, it is difficult not to get excited about the newest technology trends of 2016 that have set the changes of how we interact with our gadgets.
In the course of the last year, we have looked at the technology trends that have shaped the year throughout 2016. Although many of the forecasts made have come true, there have also been a few surprising developments that have come up and which need the attention of global buyers.
In this article, we look at some of the most defining and important technology trends of 2016 that emerged from the tech world.
- Streaming Video
If you are reading this online, chances are that you have seen at least one of your friends following a live video stream during the last year. This is because streaming video has now become more popular, more practical and more accessible to more users online.
Streaming video has become an interesting field to many users because it is something that offers an “in the moment” experience that makes viewers able to see the world through someone else’s eyes, instead of a retrospective update. Because the technology has been nearly perfected by the likes of Facebook, it has become easier than ever for someone to live stream their broadcast at any time. It is reasonable to expect this trend to continue, with upcoming products like Snap’s Spectacles and iGlass. Streaming video is sure to be a front-runner of technology trends for 2017 as well.
- Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are two terms that are seemingly starting to be overused, but have a definite place in any list of technology trends of 2016. Oculus Rift is a gadget that exploded onto the scene early this year, alongside many more competing systems and devices. The sales figures seem to suggest that the Oculus Rift is much more than a passing fad and that the hype accompanying it, was not overblown.
On top of this, augmented reality app Pokémon Go has far exceeded expectations, with more than 100 million downloads. The success of the game could be a new era dawning for augmented reality gaming as well as the advertising and marketing opportunities that come along with it.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Two interesting technologies that have begun to creep into the common consciousness are machine learning and artificial intelligence. The algorithms used help to self-improve search rankings, while the corresponding results are also used for personal digital assistants and automated investment systems. So far, these systems have had no major roadblocks – instead, what we are seeing are major breakthroughs in the technology, such as AlphaGo getting the best of a human, champion Lee-Se-dol, for the first time in Go master history. This means that we are getting better at making our machines smarter and, in a few years to come, we could start inching closer to having human-levels of intelligence in these systems.
- Data Visualization
In the last few years, every article that started with “tech trends” would inevitably mention big data, even in passing. Still, big data is a big deal and remains influential in today’s tech world. However, people are no longer talking about big data in general terms any more, but are instead focusing on its applications.
Among the most important pieces in the big data jigsaw puzzle is the ability to read and interpret the resulting data accurately, while drawing meaningful conclusions based on the data gathered. This is where data visualization becomes essential. There are now thousands of companies that have sprung up to project, aggregate and visualize the data that is produced on behalf of non-professional analysts, while making big data practical in the wider business world. Data visualization is set to be on the top of technology trends well into the future.
- The Open Enterprise
The loose term “open enterprise” is one that has defined the tendency of various applications and companies to offer themselves via device functions, applications and websites. For example, it is possible to order a ride from Uber directly from Google, while Starbucks has plans underway to broaden its mobile ordering app to enable users to order their coffee when they are carrying out other functions on their mobile devices.
This has become more important today since the “mobile experience” has become more fluid and has combined elements of web surfing, retrieval of information and functionality, all in one package. Availability to your customers, regardless of the application they use, is one of the most critical ways that companies build awareness of their business and encourage customer engagement.
2016 is a year that is unlikely to be remembered by tech enthusiasts as among the greats. With Bowie, Brexit and Trump hogging the headlines, there are many people who would just like to see the year end. However, it is a good thing that there have been significant developments in the tech industry and hopefully, we will continue to see these innovations and technology trends of 2016 develop into the new year.